Macbeth and Grendel Essay example

800 Words Dec 11th, 2013 4 Pages
The Face of Evil

Although the definitions of evil vary, as well as its motives and causes, one who possesses characteristics of profound immorality, sinfulness, and corruption could be described as an evil individual. Evil is typically perceived as the dualistic opposite of good. While many characters in literature throughout history are conceived as evil, two distinct characters stand out from the rest; Macbeth in Shakespeare’s definitive tale Macbeth and Grendel in the legendary masterpiece Beowulf. These two literary figures both exemplify traits of gullible ambition, avaricious guilt, and true wickedness. The two pieces of literature depict the terrible effects that these traits, as well as many others, can have on an individual
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As the body count begins to increase, Macbeth’s conscience becomes congested with vices and develops into a mind “full of scorpions” (3.2). Even though Macbeth’s swordsmanship is superior, he is ill equipped for the mental costs of his crimes and carnages. However, while Macbeth is unable to bear the psychological consequences of his atrocities, Grendel can. Near the beginning of Beowulf, Grendel storms into the town mead hall, Herot, and wreaks havoc. The monster shreds the soldiers of the mead hall apart and eats them limb from limb. After his killing spree, the creature flees the hall and returns to his cave. This portrays the evil nature of the beast and also exemplifies his twisted mental state; so much that he can commit manslaughter without any second thoughts. In Act 2 Scene 2, Macbeth states “I am afraid to think what I have done/ Look on’t again I dare not.” This quote evidently depicts the man’s guilty conscience as opposed to Grendel’s malicious and perfidious mindset.
The tale of Macbeth and his existence examines the corruption of the human soul. In beginning of the play, Macbeth could be described as a good man, capable of serving his family, his kinsmen, and most important of all, his king. He was an efficient soldier and worthy of respect. However, As Macbeth continues his deceitful journey through life, he begins to descend into disillusion. His morals become clouded while

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